My Google Map Blog

Tag: Small Business

New ways to connect with and understand your customers

by Aditya Tendulkar on Dec.03, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

When people look for information online, they want to find the answers to their questions quickly. This is especially true for people browsing nearby businesses. Business Profiles help merchants share information like how late you’re open and what safety measures are in place. But sometimes people are looking for answers to more niche questions such as: “Do you make gluten-free cakes?” or “Is there covered parking?”

To help you quickly answer these questions and connect with the people who are interested in your business, we’re bringing messaging capabilities and customer insights directly to you on Google Maps and Search.

Messaging with customers just got easier

Earlier this year, we made it easier for you to update your Business Profile directly from the Google products you’re already using—Maps and Search. Now, you can access even more features from these products so that you can engage with customers and update your business information from the same place.

Starting today, we’re rolling out the ability for verified businesses to message with customers directly from the Google Maps app. Once you turn messaging on from your Business Profile, you can start replying to customers on Google Maps from the business messages section in the “Updates” tab. And soon you'll also be able to see your messages right from Google Search (via the Customers menu on your Business Profile) and message customers directly from your computer.

If your business uses a messaging partner, you can sign up to access the Business Messages API and take a look at our developer guide.

Merchant Messaging Google Maps App

You can now respond to customer messages straight from the Google Maps app

As more people try to make more informed decisions before leaving the house, we’ve seen an uptick in the number of messages sent to businesses. Since the beginning of this year, people have initiated more than twice as many messages to merchants right from Business Profiles on Search and Maps.

To make it even easier for customers to get the information they want from businesses, we’re adding more ways for people to initiate messages with you. In addition to clicking on the “Message” button on your Business Profile, customers can now start a conversation from any post you create. And if they try calling and you don’t answer, they will be prompted to send a message.

merchant message

Customers can now message you directly from any posts you create

Learn more about your business with updated performance insights 

This summer, we rolled out updated performance insights on Search and Maps that give you a detailed report of your customer interactions. The report includes the total number of interactions over a period of time and a breakdown of calls and messages initiated from customers on Google. Metrics are provided on a monthly basis and can be compared to the same period from the previous year.

Starting this month, we’re rolling out more metrics to give you a deeper understanding of how customers discover your Business Profile. Soon you’ll see a more detailed list of the search queries customers used to find your business on Google. At the beginning of next year, you’ll see updates to the performance page that show whether customers saw your business via Google Maps or Search and if they saw it from a computer or mobile device. All your performance data will be available for up to six months. Dig into the numbers to see how your business is performing over time and how your Business Profile resonates with customers.

Performance Insights

New performance metrics on Search and Maps show the key phrases people use to see your Business Profile

We’ve continued to invest in new ways to make it easier for you to bolster your presence on Google. With these updated features, we hope you have more of the tools and information you need to connect with customers and grow your business in today’s ever-changing environment.

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Spruce up your Business Profile for holiday shoppers

by Rajas Moonka on Dec.02, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

The holidays can be the most hectic—and the most important—time of the year for business owners. And this year shoppers are flocking to online shopping and curbside pickups. To make the most of this season and connect with shoppers wherever they are, we have a recipe for holiday success. Here’s a list you’ll want to check twice: 

1. Deck the halls of your Business Profile: First things first, claim your free Business Profile to put your best face forward on Google Maps and Search. Make sure your Business Profile is updated with helpful information about your store—like updated hours, a description and photos, shopping options, and all the safety measures you’re taking during the pandemic. Pro tip: Double check if your phone number is correct and turn on messaging so you can quickly connect with customers who have questions.

2. Share the gift of updated in-store inventory (online!): Unsurprisingly, 77 percent of holiday shoppers in the U.S. said they will browse for gift ideas online this year instead of in-store. Thanks to Pointy from Google, you can easily show your products online so shoppers can see what you carry before they head to the store to make a purchase. Pointy connects to your point-of-sale system and automatically adds your in-store products to your Business Profile on Google. This helps you to appear in search results when shoppers are looking for items you carry.

Pointy

Pointy from Google automatically adds your inventory to your Business Profile and can help shoppers find you when they search for items you carry

3. Help them order ahead, still tucked in their beds: Searches for “curbside pickup” have grown more than 3,000 percentglobally since last year. Let customers know how they can shop with you—whether you’re offering curbside pickup, in-store pickup or delivery options.

4. Oh, what fun it is to buy online for pickup and delivery:Add ordering link(s) for pickup or delivery to your profile. If you’re a verified retail merchant in the U.S., you can now add a link to your online store directly to your Business Profile on Google. This helps shoppers easily place a pickup or delivery order from you with a few simple taps!

Pickup and delivery

 If you’re a verified business in the U.S., you can add a link to your online store so customers can easily place pickup and delivery orders

5. 'Tis the season to share more about your business: Shoppers are looking to purchase from  local businesses that they feel good about supporting. Spruce up your Business Profile and connect with your community by showing whether you’re LGBTQ-friendly or women-led, or in the U.S. and identify as Black-owned or veteran-led.

Black-owned

Share more about your business by adding attributes to your Business Profile.

For more ways to deck out your Google presence, check out Grow with Google’s Quick Help YouTube videos. The short videos will help answer a variety of small business questions, from how to make the most of digital tools to how to start a live stream. We know the holiday season can be overwhelming, but with this checklist in hand there will be no need to get your tinsel in a tangle. 


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An update on our efforts to help Americans navigate COVID-19

by Ruth Porat on Oct.27, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges and emphasized how important it is for each of us to do our part to help find solutions. I’m sharing an update here on how Google is contributing to keep people safe and helping to get American businesses back up and running.

Contributing to economic recovery efforts

As I’ve written earlier, to help small businesses gain easier access to badly-needed capital, we founded the $170 million Grow with Google Small Business Fund alongside $10 million in Google.org grants, with an aim to help the most underserved small businesses, particularly those owned by women and minorities. In collaboration with Opportunity Finance Network, more than $53 million dollars of loans and Google.org grants have been allocated to community partners who are focused on serving rural, women, Black, Latino and Native borrowers, which helps American communities start to get back on their feet. Tires by Papi and Bailiwick Clothing Company are two such examples.


Of course, our greatest contribution continues to be developing products to help people stay informed, adapt and get through this pandemic. 

According to the Connected Commerce Council, nearly one in three small business owners report that without digital tools they would close all or parts of their business. To help small businesses, we rolled out many new, free product features earlier this year, so that they can inform their customers about things like takeout, delivery, no-contact delivery, or curbside pickup. Today, people can now find this information on Search and Maps for more than 2 million restaurants and retailers in the U.S.


Using Search and Maps, you can find information about businesses.

We’ve used Google’s Duplex technology to make calls to businesses and confirm things like temporary closures. This has enabled us to make 3 million updates to business information globally, which have been seen by people over 20 billion times in Search and Maps. 


To help people searching for jobs, we have stepped up to help in many ways. We added new relevant features in the U.S. like showing jobs that can be done remotely. Google Cloud has partnered with different states to help jobseekers: we assisted Rhode Island’s Virtual Career Center, a new platform that  connects thousands of jobseekers with jobs and employment services; worked with the State of Illinois to develop a 24/7 Virtual Intelligent Agent on the IDES website; developed a chatbot, in partnership with the New Jersey Office of Innovation to provide real-time answers to the 20 most popular unemployment questions. These are just some of the examples. 


We also transformed our free Grow with Google training to virtual formats and have already trained more than 1 million Americans on digital skills this year. The Google IT Support Professional Certificate—which takes beginner learners to entry-level jobs ready in under six months—has become the most popular certificate on Coursera during COVID-19.

Grow with Google digital skills training

Providing trusted information

Questions related to the pandemic are more searched than sports or music (and even elections) in every state. 

Top coronavirus related searches in the U.S. this month:

  1. Coronavirus symptoms

  2. Coronavirus update

  3. Coronavirus vaccine

Across the U.S. people are searching on Google to stay informed and adapt. In 47 states, the top coronavirus-related question during the last six months has been “How many cases of coronavirus in [my state].” Search interest for “online courses” reached an all-time high in April this year, as did searches for “unemployment,”compared to search trends over the last 15 years. 


During this time, we’ve also seen people seek out information to help them navigate their daily lives. For example, since the pandemic began, searches for “curbside pickup” have increased 13-fold compared to this time last year, while searches for “contact tracing” spiked 1,000 percent  in April and then reached an all-time high in May. 


In March, we launched Search Knowledge Panels so when people search for information related to COVID-19, they immediately see local guidance, information about symptoms, prevention and treatments. We’ve committed $250 million in Ad Grants to help government agencies provide critical information related to COVID-19. As of today we’ve served more than 100 million PSAs from local public health agencies, which have been seen by tens of millions of people across the U.S.


We also launched the Journalism Emergency Relief Fund to provide emergency funding for small and medium sized news organizations covering the pandemic. To date, we’ve distributed $9 million to U.S. newsrooms across all 50 states. 

Helping people make safe choices 

To help people make informed decisions about where to go, the COVID layer in Google Maps shows critical information about new cases in an area and how they’re trending. As of this month, our COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports, which are used by public health agencies and researchers around the globe, have been downloaded more than 16 million times. 

In May, we partnered with Apple to launch the Exposure Notifications System (ENS) and made it available to public health authorities around the world in their fight against COVID-19. Designed specifically and carefully to protect users’ privacy while helping public health authorities and governments manage countries’ re-opening, today 13 states and U.S. territories have built apps based on this ENS technology.

In a short time, COVID-19 has changed how people live their lives. We’ll continue to update our products and roll out initiatives to help people and American businesses find trusted information, adapt and manage economic uncertainty.  

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Update your Business Profile on Google Maps and Search

by Tom Pritchard on Aug.13, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

When it comes to your business’s online presence, putting your best foot forward matters. And with more than 15 million edits made to Business Profiles each month, we know how important it is to quickly make changes so your business information on Google is engaging and up to date—from adding a phone number to sharing COVID-19 safety requirements with customers.

Today, we’re making it easier to update your Business Profile directly from Google products you already use. Now you can create posts, reply to reviews, add photos and update business information right from Google Search and Maps.

To start, make sure you are signed in with the Google account used to verify your business. On Google Maps, simply tap your profile picture on the top right corner of the mobile app and select “Your Business Profile” to access these tools. On Google Search, you can look up your business by name or search for “my business” to update your profile. The “my business” functionality is currently available in English and will expand to other languages over the coming months.

In-line imagery - Service - Mobile + Desktop.jpg

Update your Business Profile and engage with customers directly from Search and Maps

We’re also rolling out more free tools on Google Maps and Search that will help you understand how your business is performing and how you can enhance your online presence. Business owners and managers will see a revamped performance page with new customer interaction insights. This page will provide refreshed metrics on a monthly basis, and will evolve over the coming months to share more helpful data to business owners. All of these features will be available on an upgraded merchant interface that will offer helpful recommendations about how you can improve your Google presence—whether it’s adding information to your Business Profile, responding to recent customer reviews, or using Google Ads to help your business stand out.

Business owners can also continue to use the Google My Business website and mobile app to update business information and connect with customers. If you’re a business owner who has not yet verified your listing, learn more about how to do that here.

As more business owners rely on digital tools to connect with customers and keep business operations running, we'll continue to update our offerings to be as helpful as possible. Creating more convenient ways to update your Business Profile and keep tabs on your online presence are just some of the ways we’re doing this.

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New ways to support Black-owned businesses

by Jewel Burks on Jul.30, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

While working as an Entrepreneur-in-residence at Google from 2014 to 2016, I traveled across the country to help enhance the online presence of hundreds of Black-owned businesses. As a Black woman, entrepreneur and Googler, supporting Black-owned businesses and Black founders is my passion.


Over the past few months, we’ve seen a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses. It’s been inspiring to witness so many people look for ways to invest in the Black community. Now, we’re announcing three new ways to help support Black business owners. 


Starting today, merchants in the U.S. with a verified Business Profile on Google can add a Black-owned business attribute to their profile, making it easier for customers to find and support them. As part of our $300 million commitment to support underrepresented entrepreneurs, we’re also integrating the attribute into the digital skills training programs we offer Black business owners through Grow with Google Digital Coaches. And through Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders, we’re starting our work with the first cohort of 12 startups. 

Making Search and Maps more inclusive

With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most. 

“Everyone who comes into this store is welcome,” says Janet Jones, founder and co-owner of the Detroit-based Source Booksellers. “For us, being Black-owned means serving the community we’re in.” 

By adding the attribute, people using Google Search and Maps can see Source Booksellers is Black-owned, and easily extend their support by purchasing one of their products, leaving a great review and sharing their Business Profile with others looking for their next book. 

BoBA Mobile UI Pop-Up.png

Identity attributes are featured on merchants' Business Profiles when they opt in

To help get the word out about the new Black-owned attribute, we’ve partnered with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC). With 145 Black Chambers of Commerce and 326,000 members across the country, USBC provides leadership and advocacy to empower Black business owners through resources and initiatives. Together, Google and USBC will provide training for Black-owned businesses to enhance their presence on Google through the use of digital tools like Google My Business and Google Analytics. Our hope is that by partnering with USBC, we can help more businesses connect with their community and customers.

Reaching more businesses with digital skills training

We’re also adding the Black-owned business attribute to the training curriculum offered through the Grow with Google Digital Coaches program. Since 2017, Digital Coaches have offered free mentorship, networking, and workshop opportunities to Black and Latinx businesses in 11 cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, Chicago and Detroit. And the program is growing: Last month, we announced an expansion to Birmingham, Alabama, Memphis, Tennessee and Cleveland, Ohio, as well as a commitment to train more than 50,000 Black owned small businesses. 

Introducing the first class of Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders

Through Google for Startups, we’re also expanding ways to support Black entrepreneurs who are using technology to address so many of today’s biggest challenges. Today, we’re announcing the inaugural class of the Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders with 12 high potential Seed to Series A tech startups based in the U.S. 

GFSA-Black-Founders-Announcement8 (1).gif

Inaugural class of the Google for Startups Accelerator for Black Founders

The class includes entrepreneurs like Guy Assad, founder of Clerkie, a business designed to help Americans get out of debt. It also includes Melvin Hine, founder of Upswing, which is dedicated to improving the online education system, and Ashley Edwards, founder of MindRight Health which provides digital mental health services for young people. Starting next month, these 12 founders will receive training and support from Google and industry experts on technical challenges, business growth, and outside investment opportunities to help them reach the next level.

In my current role as the Head of Google for Startups in the U.S., I have the privilege of continuing to work with Black entrepreneurs. Today’s updates are a part of our company-wide effort to support Black-owned businesses through products and meaningful partnerships. It’s my hope that this attribute and Google’s tools and training can serve as additional resources for Black-owned businesses and the people who support them. 

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6 ways you can support local businesses with Google Maps

by Tom Pritchard on Jun.26, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Editor’s Note: Small businesses are crucial to our communities. As we head into International Small Business Day on June 27, we’ve compiled six Google Maps tips anyone can use to help small businesses during the pandemic. 

As cities and economies start to reopen, people are looking for ways to support their favorite small businesses. We recently announced new features to help business owners get support, adjust operations and reach customers in new ways, and have heard from people around the world that they want to support their favorite small businesses. 

Here are six easy ways you can show support for small businesses in your community right now:


1. Report a place as re-opened and edit other helpful information 

Business owners may not have the time or resources to keep the information on their online listing updated. If you know a business has reopened to the public, but it’s still marked as closed on Google Search or Maps, you can report it as re-opened. Click on the “Temporarily Closed” banner on the business and select “Suggest an edit” to let us know that the business has reopened. And for businesses that have reopened with different hours, you can also submit updated open hours information.

Update the Temporarily Closed label on Google Maps

2. Spread the word with reviews, ratings and photos

Share your experience. Writing about a restaurant’s well-executed takeout window or adding photos of the menu or dish you ordered in your Maps review can help businesses you love attract more customers.


Leave a review on Google Maps

3. Try an online class

Missing your go-to yoga studio or in desperate need of a consultation with your hair stylist? Many businesses are pivoting to online services due to COVID-19 restrictions, and you can now see local businesses offering online classes, appointments and estimates, right on Google Search and Maps. Search using terms like “yoga classes near me,” “hair salons” or “piano lessons” to see some of the businesses near you offering these services—and even book directly on Google Search or Maps via a number of our Reserve with Google partners.
Book an online class with Google Maps

4. Buy a gift card or leave a donation

If you have the means, purchase a gift card or make a donation to help businesses in your community. Doing so gives business owners the funds to support employees, while reassuring them that they’ll have your business in the future. If you’re in the U.S., the U.K. or Canada, you can simply type "support local businesses" or a similar term in Google Search to see a list of businesses in your area that are accepting donations or offering gift cards. And for a limited time, you can also click the banner in your Google Maps app on your phone to find businesses near you that are looking for support. Businesses in more than 25 countries can now set up gift card or donation campaigns through Google My Business.

Buy a Gift Card or Donate to a local business

5. Make a reservation for a future appointment

Missed reservations and skipped services are understandable these days, but they can be stressful to local business owners and employees. Consider rescheduling services and appointments for a future date so you can assure local merchants that they still have your business. Plenty of salons and other businesses take appointments and reservations directly from Search or Maps.


Book a later appointment

6. Order delivery or takeout

Many restaurants and bars that are closed for dine-in service have pivoted to takeout and delivery. If you’re not in the mood to cook, treat yourself while supporting one of your local restaurants. Use Google Maps to find restaurants around you that are offering takeout, curbside pickup, delivery, or no-contact delivery.


Takeout and delivery options in Google Maps
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Google’s new tools help businesses during COVID-19

by Jen Fitzpatrick on May.27, 2020, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Running a business requires a whole lot of ingenuity and perseverance. It’s those same qualities that are helping local businesses adapt, and even thrive, in today’s new normal. To adjust, business owners are increasingly turning to digital tools. According to a newly released report by the Connected Commerce Council, nearly one in three small business owners said that without digital tools they would have had to close all or parts of their business.

We’ve rolled out new features to help businesses get the support they need, adapt their operations, and quickly update customers about their latest changes.

Let people know how they can help 

We’ve seen firsthand in Google Search and Maps the impact that COVID-19 has had on small businesses and how they connect with their customers. People across the world are looking for ways to continue supporting corner bookstores, local watering holes, beloved dance studios and other businesses that give their neighborhoods character—even if it’s from a distance. 

To help local businesses share how their communities can support them during COVID-19, we recently began allowing merchants in six countries to add support links for donations and gift cards to their Business Profiles on Google. Starting today, we’re rolling support links out to merchants in an additional 18 countries such as Italy, Spain and Japan. We’ve partnered with PayPal and GoFundMe for donations. For gift cards, merchants can link directly to the relevant page on their website or to their gift card offerings with one of our eligible partners, which includes Square, Toast, Clover and Vagaro.

People around the world are looking to help—with global search interest in "how to help small businesses" reaching an all-time high in March 2020, increasing more than 700 percent since February. To help connect them with nearby businesses in need, we’ve made it possible for people to look up their favorite local businesses by name to see if they’ve added donation or gift card links to their Business Profile. And in the coming weeks, people will also be able to use Search and Maps to find all of the nearby businesses that are asking for support. 

Support Links Search

People can now look up their favorite local businesses to see if they have donation or gift card links on their Business Profile

Transition to online services with ease 

Merchants who normally provided in-person services are now pivoting to connect with their customers virtually—from yoga studios offering online classes to salons hosting virtual hair styling classes. We’re making it easier for customers to discover online classes and book virtual appointments with these new features:

  • Get discovered:Merchants who are verified on Google My Business will soon be able to add attributes like “online classes,” “online appointments,” or “online estimates” to their Business Profiles to let people know how they’re operating. Today merchants can add one of these attributes using Google My Business, and in the coming weeks it’ll be visible on merchants’ Business Profiles in Search and Maps. 

  • Online service bookings directly on Google:We’re expanding Reserve with Google to help merchants offer easy appointment bookings for online services so customers can quickly find available times, book a slot, and add it to their Google Calendar—all directly from a merchant’s Business Profile. Millions of people have already booked in-person appointments with salons, restaurants and other businesses thanks to integrations from over 100 Reserve with Google partners. We’re now expanding this to include bookings for online services, starting with partners like Booksy, Regis, WellnessLiving, and Zooty. Merchants working with one of these partners can offer online bookings directly on Google and share details with customers about how to pay and join the meeting using their preferred video platform.

Online Class Booking

 Merchants can offer easy appointment bookings for online services. 

Keep everyone in the know with the latest business information

Sometimes it’s not as simple as “open” and “closed.” Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve added new tools to help merchants keep customers informed about how and when they’re operating. 

Across all business verticals, we launched the ability to mark their business as temporarily closed, as well as reopen when they’re ready to open their doors. We also added secondary hours and COVID-19 posts so merchants can communicate important information about their operations directly in Google Search and Maps. Since March, we’ve seen more than 1 million businesses share COVID-19 posts, with millions of clicks to merchants’ websites every week as consumers look for more information.

With many people unable to enjoy meals inside their favorite restaurants, demand for food delivery and takeout has skyrocketed. In response, we’ve added more third-party ordering providers, so people everywhere can order delivery and takeout from an additional 25,000 restaurants directly on Google. To give merchants even more control, we’ll soon be making it easier for food merchants to indicate their preferred online ordering partners on their Business Profiles. 

Today people are deciding where to grab food not only based on the menu, but also on how easy it is to pick up safely. We added attributes like “curbside pickup,” “no contact delivery,” and “dine-in” so that restaurants could easily share these important details on their Business Profiles in Search and Maps. Since March, more than 3 million restaurants have added or edited their dining attributes. Some restaurateurs are even ditching dining areas for good. To support all types of food merchants, virtual kitchens can now verify their businesses on Google My Business. 

We know that every day during this pandemic can be drastically different—and for small business owners, there can be a lot of uncertainty. While we can’t control what each day looks like, our goal is to continue helping businesses communicate the latest with consumers across the world. 

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Helping businesses capture their identity with Google My Business

by Amir Fish on Jun.21, 2019, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Since launching Google My Business five years ago, we’ve helped more than 150 million local businesses connect with people who are looking for them online. Today, when people search for businesses, they’re on the hunt for something more specific--like “late night restaurants near Washington Square Park” or “rooftop happy hour with great cocktails.” And they’re  looking to get more things done--whether that’s booking, a reservation, or asking what products a store offers. 

We’ve evolved Google My Business to better meet these needs--from redesigned, easier-to-use mobile apps to making restaurant reservations directly from Google. Today, we’re rolling out more features to help businesses make their Profiles as unique as they are and as descriptive as the queries that get customers there.  

  • Attract people with welcome offers: Did someone say deal? We’ve found that more than half of online customers are looking for an offer or discount.  Starting today, businesses can reward customers who follow their business on Google with welcome offers , turning happy first time customers into loyal, repeat ones.

Welcome Offers

You can receive a Welcome Offer by following some of your favorite businesses on Maps

  • Find businesses quicker with short names and URLs:Business owners can now claim a short name and URL for their business. With this URL, businesses can easily refer customers back to their Profile - to catch up on latest updates, to make a booking or to write a review after a visit. In the coming months, people will also be able to search short names in Maps.  

  • Show personality with cover photos: Businesses can easily set their preferred profile cover photo, putting their best foot forward.

  • Identify companies with more prominent logos:Businesses have an additional branding opportunity with the logo feature. Those that have completed their core information (phone number, hours, etc) will have their logo displayed at the top right-hand side of their profile.

  • Get visual with photo displays:Photos uploaded by a business will appear instantly and prominently on a new dynamic module on the Profile. Photo captions, which are coming, will let businesses tell the stories behind the pictures. 

  • Create offline materials:We’re also launching a website where businesses can easily download and order custom assets for their place--like stickers--to help promote bookings on the profile, adding reviews and customer following.

Busiiness Profile

The new features can help a Business Profile be as descriptive as possible.

Finally, we want to recognize those businesses that consistently deliver a great experience for people. We’ll be highlighting the top five percent of businesses in a particular category with the “Local Favorite” designation. To help people easily find and engage with these businesses, we’re also creating digital and physical badges of honors. Stay tuned for more details on these recognition categories coming later this summer.

More descriptive profiles not only help consumers quickly find the business that best suits their needs, but also help businesses stand out and express what is unique about them. We’re excited to keep improving Maps and Search for everyone, and help businesses succeed on Google. 

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